Base Camp

I hit a milestone today. This morning, while pounding out the novel I’m writing for National Novel Writing Month, my word count surpassed 15,700 words. In terms of writing 50,000 words in 30 days, I’m tracking way behind where I should be. But this point is an auspicious one for me. In four years ofContinue reading “Base Camp”

How It’s Made

“Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made.” – John Godfrey Saxe We are on the eve of a hallowed time in the writer’s calendar. At the stroke of midnight on November 1, thousands of people around the world will start the long and arduous process ofContinue reading “How It’s Made”

Speed and the Inverted Pyramid

My fingers are not happy with me. I’m racing against time and turkey to finish a week’s worth of freelance articles by Wednesday night. In pursuit of my goal, I’ve written four articles in the past two days — and I’m already working on the fifth. Normally, I wouldn’t rush a project, but with the holidayContinue reading “Speed and the Inverted Pyramid”

JFK: The Creation of an American Myth

When a bullet (or two, depending on what theory you subscribe to) hit President John F. Kennedy on a crisp autumn morning, America gained a whole new mythology. Regardless of who JFK was that morning when he started along the parade route, he would leave a martyr. Every culture has a key mythology that shapesContinue reading “JFK: The Creation of an American Myth”

Why I’m Not Doing NaNoWriMo (But You Should)

For the past three years, I have plunged into the wilderness of creativity and wrist pain that is National Novel Writing Month (better known as NaNoWriMo). If you haven’t heard of NaNoWriMo, it’s a worldwide movement of literary minded folks where you attempt to write 50,000 words of a novel in just 30 days. IfContinue reading “Why I’m Not Doing NaNoWriMo (But You Should)”

Please Don’t Ask Me About My Novel

Motivation is hard to find around this time of November. For a month, I’ve been dabbling on a novel as part of my yearly NaNoWriMo challenge. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days…and I’m nearly 45,000 words behind. Needless to say, it’s been a rough year for noveling. I love the writing,Continue reading “Please Don’t Ask Me About My Novel”

A Day Without an iPhone

When I first realized that I’d left my phone at home, I panicked. I was cut-off from the world; isolated from my social network, friends and loved ones. For several hours, I would be unreachable by phone call or text message. I started to feel anxious, but within a few minutes, the rational side ofContinue reading “A Day Without an iPhone”

Noveling Like I’ve Never Noveled Before

We are now nine days into this month of literary abandon called National Novel Writing Month and I’m behind on my word quota, just as I was last year and the year before. That’s no surprise. I’ve never finished a novel, even with all the pressure and bribes and good intentions. My problem is notContinue reading “Noveling Like I’ve Never Noveled Before”

Through the (Indepedent) Looking Glass

Every four years, we make a decision. We spend months fighting over it, talking about it, posting about it on Facebook. Some weigh the pros and cons of this decision seriously; some follow the crowd. Everyone must take a side. And then there are those pesky few of us who struggle to get excited forContinue reading “Through the (Indepedent) Looking Glass”

Overcompensating

I have often complained about my education as a journalist ruining my ability to write anything longer than 400 words. Journalists value concise narrative. Just the bare bones. My literary heroes, Ernest Hemingway and Stephen Crane, came out of journalistic careers and redefined 20th century novels as modern works of minimalism. Secretly, I wanted toContinue reading “Overcompensating”